XHOHX - Karyotypexplosion

Xhohx - Karyotypexplosion

12 songs
54:35 minutes
***** **


The inexperienced and unprepared listener might get the scare of his like out of Karyotypexplosion, the debut album by the Belgian duo Xhohx, but a closer look at their Myspace page makes the twelve compositions on their CD more transparent. Xhohx, with their anagram band name, are inspired by Rock In Opposition (more) and No Wave (less), and bombard their audience with fast and extremely complex prog jazz noise that, although nearly defying description, remind a little of other well known genre bands like Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Le Singe Blanc and even our local Torpid. Xhohx are wilder than those bands, and instead of relying on a live drummer, they use programmed beats which works fine enough, but a real flesh and blood drummer would have added more organic textures to the music. Xhohx are always at their best when they add other instruments than guitar and bass. Don’t get me wrong, they are excellent on their instruments, especially the bass player sounds teleported from the second WatchTower album, but the occasional keyboard passages and especially the saxophone on Turmenza turn the album into a livelier jazz universe.

There is no rest for the wicked on Karyotypexplosion, the two-piece is pummelling non-stop through their generally rather short songs, only the quarter hour long concluding Nukleark is longer, and although stylistically it is not that different from the preceding half hour, its length alone gives it a certain Flying Luttenbachers sound orgy feeling. It also needs to be mentioned that instead of having a vocalist, the bass player is providing onomatopoeias (and thank Bill Gates for the spellchecker!). What you finally get is nearly fifty minutes of nervous and noisy RIO that is closer to noise than to jazz rock, and should appeal to fans of more daring proggy sounds. If the band decided to add more instruments and maybe at times a little catchiness into their music, they might make it easier even for the hardened listener and get a guaranteed higher rating.

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